Even before I got balls deep in all of this beauty business, one product that I always had to have on hand was a good exfoliator. In the days when my bathroom sink wasn’t covered with expensive creams and serums and oils, I always kept an exfoliator around, even if that was the one and only good thing I ever bothered to use on my skin.
These days, I’ve got more products than I deserve, much less know what to do with. (And yet, my skin still looks like hell. I wish they would find a way to market the skin care benefit I really need: sleep.) That being said, to this day, the one product that you will never find me without is a trusty exfoliator.
Whether I’m in the dead of summer, feeling grimy and needing to sandblast all of the dirt, sweat, and oil off of my scrumptious mug, or in the middle of winter needing to slough off dead skin and stimulate blood flow to make me look, you know, alive, a good exfoliator is essential for me to feel presentable.
There are two kinds of exfoliants: physical, which means they’re made with those little beads that scrub your face, and chemical, which contain alpha and beta hydroxy acids, retinoids, and enzymes that break down the bonds between skin cells and give you better skin starting from a cellular level.
I’m very partial to using physical exfoliants because I like to really feel them working, but lately, I’ve been toying around with the chemical side of things because I love the deep clean feeling I get after I use them. If you’re lucky, you can find a product with both physical and chemical benefits for a true one-two punch.
ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment is the best of both worlds, and it also happens to be one if my very favorite products at the moment.
The first thing I noticed about the product was the very fine, barely-there microbeads. I’m used to chunky physical exfoliants that really beat the hell out of my face, but ExfoliKate’s are teeny, so they get to work ridding you of blemishes and blackheads while polishing and buffing your face. It feels like it’s working, and better yet, it feels expensive.
Next, salicylic acid works below the surface to clean and treat any imperfections. Papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin enzymes work together to rid you of dry, dead skin without drying your face out. ExfoliKate is also formulated with Lactic Acid, which is another natural skin exfoliator, while honey and vitamin E work to soothe and soften skin and counteract any irritation.
First, clean your face regularly using your favorite cleanser, then scrub a little bit of ExfoliKate onto your face for about thirty seconds. If you’re brave (LIKE ME) and want to get the most out of it, leave it on for up to two minutes, feeling it tingle and clean your face like nothing ever has before. Rinse, and you’re done! You're basically, just like, washing your face again. It's so easy that it's almost unfair.
I could immediately see the benefits from using ExfoliKate when I hopped out of the shower. My skin felt amazing, my pores looked smaller, and any “problem areas” (not that I have any) looked better than ever, all without any of the tightness you get from a heavy-duty cleanser or exfoliator.
The following days, however, are when I really noticed the improvement in my skin. My skin tone was more even, which made my face look brighter and more glowy, and any dryness from being out in the cold and harsh late autumn winds was gone. My skin felt fresh and looked insanely good.
I can say that this is by far the best exfoliator I’ve ever used, and I will continue to use it until something better comes along, although I don't see that happening anytime in the near future.
Two ounces of this will run you $85, which I know isn't cheap, but, yo, neither is good skin. I'd rather have one investment product that I know will work than have to mess around with five other products, trying to find one that will give me the results I want. But that's just me. BUT WAIT, if you want to test drive it without immediately making the jump, you can snag a .05 oz bottle of it for $22! A little bit of this goes a long way, so it's an investment no matter how you look at it. Grab ExfoliKate from Kate Somerville's websitec
Follow Tynan on his never-ending quest for good skin on Twitter: @TynanBuck.